21st Century Health Hazards Everyone Should Know About
The Danger: Air pollution is linked to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, Parkinson's, obesity, a long list of pregnancy and childhood health issues and even accelerated brain aging in adults.
Your Safety Plan: Get daily information the air quality in your area with apps like AirForU. If it's bad, taking your exercise inside for the day is one way to limit breathing in things like vehicle pollution. Which brings us to another situation to watch for: sitting in traffic. That's when you're getting most of your exposure, says pollution expert Beate Ritz, MD, PhD, professor and vice chair of the epidemiology department at the UCLA School of Medicine. You may think it's best to put your windows up, but if you have an older car with an equally old air filter system, you're probably breathing in your car's own exhaust, says Ritz. If that applies to you, keep your windows down. Or better yet, take public transit if you can.